Will he? Or won’t he?
These were the tough questions for Steve Novak before shootaround this morning at the Bradley Center.
For weeks, a New York Knicks security guard kept after the Marquette and Brown Deer High School alumnus about breaking out Aaron Rodgers’ championship belt celebration after he a made a 3-pointer.
For weeks, Novak resisted.
Then, on Feb. 19, in a nationally televised victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden, Novak couldn’t help himself. The 6-foot, 10-inch forward had just drained his fourth 3-pointer of the fourth quarter and broke out the move as he turned up the court.
"It just kind of happened that day," he said.
Sure enough, the Green Bay Packers quarterback took notice and shot a message of encouragement to Novak over Twitter.
Big Steve Novak fan.State Farm also encourages u to do the (belt) DDC.Steve Novak or the mayor Fred Hoiberg, pure shooter?? — Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) March 1, 2012
Novak's teammates love it as well, and have also imitated the NFL MVP’s signature touchdown celebration.
"I stole it from him obviously," Novak said of Rodgers. "Then in the Dallas game, I did it and it just kind of took off from there. Because it is my Wisconsin association and I am such a big Packer fan, I thought it was cool but then it just took off on its own. It’s kind of just become something that’s really funny. To have Aaron Rodgers tweet me and say he was a big fan of that kind of thing was really cool."
A Bucks fan his entire life who works out locally in the offseason, will Novak make the move tonight if he hits a big three?
"Whenever the time calls, it’ll come out," he said with a smile.
If the time does call for it tonight, how will the hometown fans react?
On one hand, you’ve got your native son making his only regular season appearance this season, honoring one of the Packers’ greatest players. On the other hand, it means he’s making baskets against the Bucks, who are trying to catch the Knicks for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff seed.
We’ll find out in a few hours.
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.